FREE Supply Filled Backpacks Today!

WF

Everyone loves Free, right? Well today, from 1PM to 4PM, stop down in one of the participating Verizon Wireless stores with your child and receive a FREE backpack with school supplies! A list of participating locations can be found Here.

They do ask:

“After you get your free backpack, share your photos using #WZGivesBack on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to spread the goodwill! Check out all the fun at http://www.wzgivesback.com

EDIT: Their Facebook seems to have comments about people not being able to receive them due to plans being made for them prior- I would call beforehand if it’s a drive for you!

 

 

Stolen Identity

I was assaulted three months ago.

 

I was violated by someone I trusted.

 

I was left confused, hopeless, and emotionally vulnerable by another person.

 

 

I was raped.

 

 

I did the right thing. I went to the police. I sat as they made me recount every detail of the incident, the person, the actions. I did the right thing. I went to the hospital where reality finally struck and I came out of shock to become a weak heaping mess on the hospital bed. They told me it was not worth the rape kit due to the trauma it would incite. The timing was bad. The details didn’t seem in my favor. I did the right thing. I waited as the police came to my house at 2:30 in the morning and collected my clothing. Took pictures of my house. Collected my bedding including pillow cases off my bed, leaving just a blank mattress and one lone pillow. I did the right thing.

I came in when they called me out of work. I came in to the station to ‘bait’ him into admitting he knew what he did was wrong. It wasn’t necessary; he already had admitted it and then some. He admitted he forced himself on me, he admitted he didn’t stop after I said no. He admitted he kept penetrating me as I laid there audibly sobbing. But I came in and got more admittance on text and phone recordings. I did the right thing. They gave me the pretense of the idea that if I did this, we would be able to arrest him within the following week. DO NOT go get an Order of Protection I was told. It would be made by the judge. I did the right thing.

It got passed to the District Attorney’s office. It sat for weeks. Weeks turned into months as I tried to play phone tag with the DA assigned to my case. Meanwhile I had my perpetrator casually appear places I had never known him to go. Parked outside my home on “public roads”, where nothing could be done because he was not contacting me. Driving the same direction as my path to work once or twice a week, despite working and living an hour from my work location. Public roads; coincidence. And I waited. I did everything I was SUPPOSED to do.

Three months of anxiety, and fear, and constant betrayal of my own emotions. Constantly hiding the feeling of paranoia. Constantly wondering if I was over it or just in another stage of denial. Constantly waiting for someone-a certain someone-to snap and attack me. Three months of trying to pretend everything is normal while knowing deep inside that nothing is normal. Three months of denying I was a victim in any way.

And then that call came. Three months of waiting for SOMETHING, ANYTHING. It came. The call that it was not worth the time and effort to push the case. A ‘He said/She said’ scenario.

It didn’t matter that I handed over my phone. It didn’t matter that I had pages and recordings for miles of him from day one admitting guilt and wrong doing. It didn’t matter that I have been in fear and paranoia for months. It didn’t matter that I have not slept more than four hours a night because the night terrors and the cold sweats make me clutch my knees and rock in bed sobbing. They make me check my children incessantly even though I know they are not in harm. Three months of checking every license plate of someone who appears to be following too close. Three months of assigned parking and (albeit a safety precaution,) alienation from my coworkers. It did not matter that I have thought about not getting out of bed in the morning; or that I would rather not try to make myself presentable because now every man (as ridiculous and untrue as I know it to be) is a threat. Because my perpetrator saw me at my worst. My worst physically; emotionally.

It will not go to court. There are no repercussions to him. There is no “slap on the wrist.” There is no consolation for the shell of a person I have become. It was never a question of letting it define me, or not “getting over it”. It is a question of what was taken from me. My trust, my sexual identity, my self worth. My confidence is gone. This was not an assault on my body it seems, but of my own inner self. This was an assault that was more personal than any Law & Order SVU episode will show you, this is more than the jokes the high schoolers will make.

I spent hours in the courthouse to apply for an Order of Protection. I did not receive one of those either. If I were to pursue through the fullest extent (if a judge has not already laughed at it) I would have to sit ten feet away from my perpetrator as he explained how he has done nothing wrong. Nothing to deserve a piece of paper stopping him from harassment. I will have to sit ten feet away from the man I once trusted around my children. The man I trusted to know more about me than anyone else in quite some time. I would have to sit in proximity to this man…who knows he did something terrible and walked away smiling.

I requested to file anyways. We don’t have his information to file. There would not be an order for as long as a year.

There will be no OOP. There will be no case to trial. There will be no justice except for the justice of knowing I DID THE RIGHT THING. And by God, I am trying, Lord knows I am trying to maintain composure. I have done a decent job the last three months and amazed myself. But those three months I had hope. I had faith that the system would stand behind me. I had the impression that those who do the right thing will be granted the right course. And I’m sure, in some parallel universe that they do. I would never tell another woman or man to not follow the process of reporting and following. I just would make it clear that you can do the right thing, and still come out hollow and broken.

I will move on from this. I will pick up the pieces of my own pity party and not let this define me. I will not let someone else have the validation of taking everything from me past this. But how do you go about getting your identity back when you haven’t even had a chance to catch your breath yet? How do you put one foot in front of the other while you’re still trying to get up off the floor? I guess we’ll see.

And in the meantime, I can at least pretend that there is some comfort somewhere, that may he walk around day to day knowing that he is a vile person who is not capable of respect. He is not capable of taking more than someone else is willing to give. And I hope every person out there knows that they are worth more than what someone else defines them by. Especially when they do the right thing.

 

 

When

When your mouth fails to say what your mind can not comprehend; when the only emotion left is the unexplainable romanticism of what despair has crept in; and when your only form of convalescence is in the power of your soul-

Write.

The Internet Court

We as society want everything quickly, efficiently, and profound enough that we can only spend as minute a time as possible to judge, assess, and react to a situation. Everything these days is about the convenience of speed-and it is making us shitty people.

The one thing I really dislike about how social media controls us is that everyone is given the option to become a juror and judge, and in turn feel the need to hold others accountable despite not having all the evidence. Media is meant to get ratings and what better way than click bait? But a vast number of social media users will see multiple stories with the same gripping title, do little to no research, and then quickly determine a course of action. While in the best intentions for social justice-this does not mean that course of action is correct.

Ruining someone’s life, getting them fired from their job, claiming racial injustices or police brutality before knowing the facts-all things happening daily. Boycotting companies over one story someone read-

While some of these things DO happen and we SHOULD feel the need to become activists, We as a whole need to learn to do research before condemning innocent people.

For example-right now the news story is that police in FL watched three teenage girls drown and did nothing. This is spreading like wildfire. However, there is much to the story not told in click bait. If people did research before spreading the stories on Facebook, they might have a more informed, changed opinion.

This is not to say that some of these cases need not be brought to light. They should. Without social media an oblivious bubble would still be hovering over many needed justifications. Police brutality has been reformed, breastfeeding advocacy. Racial issues are begging for our attention-and yes they deserve it.

But when was the last time you got the whole, unbiased story on Facebook? Innocent people have been fired, lost their homes and families because the internet took things TOO FAR. Just because someone claims police brutality does not make it so. Not every issue is a race fueled injustice. Do these things happen? YES. I will not deny that. But people-not EVERYTHING is black and white. And not everything can be determined from a 30 second video clip and someone across the country’s opinion on the matter as a caption.

Facebook does not give you the right to be a juror nor does it give you the right to be a judge. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and everyone will gossip and talk about these stories. It has been this way for centuries. But when did the ease and speed of social media give us the power to take things one step further and control the situation?

Not everything you read online, despite even being from Reliable News Sources is correct. In a pressurized haste to get the story out before everyone else, mistakes can be and are made.

Sandy Hook was a shit storm. Everyone was so in a rush with their information that the story did not come out until some time later-ending up creating conspiracy theories, angry families, and people taking things into their own hands-all because we as society couldn’t wait to hear the news as it came.

The local story of Baby Maddox-the missing baby murdered by her father-came out with information in spurts. While time sensitive material can be of the utmost focus for the people actively searching for the missing baby at the time, it did not help when pressured police and news were giving out incorrect or misleading information. Was this done intentionally? No, of course not. But it didn’t stop from confusion and frustration by all parties.

We as society need to slow our roll. Will that happen? I highly doubt that. Impatience and technology’s increase in capacity has brought us to the point where we are going to destroy ourselves. There is a fine line between improving lives and impeding them. Where are we going to draw that line?

Why don’t we start with using common sense. Take the moral high road. Next time you read a new trending outrageous story, take a look at everything. Remind yourself it is better to be unbiased than blinded.

And for God’s Sake, people; stop playing every character of Law and Order online-there is a reason a court consists of many people and not one single person. Keep that in mind.

My Almost Irish Twins.

My eldest, now four, spent the night an hour away at his Aunt’s place with her last night. The first sleepover they had left me weary, anxious; car keys next to the bed waiting for that “Come get me!” call that never came. It was harder on me than anyone.

That is not to say his two year old brother did not have questions. Non-verbal yet intuitive, he had fallen asleep before we dropped off his brother only to wake up in our driveway with his brother no longer in the car. Many whines and pointed fingers to his brother’s car seat trying to urgently express to me that I must have indeed, forgotten his other half somewhere.

Two years ago when I brought Bad Baby home (referred to from here on out at BB;) his brother was just under two. A very angry almost two year old was very upset I left for three days and came home with a loud loaf of bread, occupying all of my new time. And in time he learned BB was not going anywhere, and we grew into normalcy. As normal as having two babies in the house could be. I was worried about having them so close together. I was worried about jealousy and them both not understanding the sharing of my time. I was worried love was not measured in a knowing glance with them, but the time spent individually.

It’s been two years. BB refuses to go to bed without Rainman (my four year old) sleeping next to him. They were in their own rooms and it became such a guess in the middle of the night as to where one of my toddlers were that I finally put both beds in one room. It’s been about 8 months and they now sleep together in the same bed. I’ve tried to separate them to no avail. They are the size of 4 and 7 year olds, in a small twin bed, and they find comfort in each other enough to sleep at opposite ends of the bed, feet touching.

So when Rainman leaves, I’m not the only one who is on edge.

BB enjoys the company this morning waking up to my smiling face, and I his. He enjoys the extra effort he gets in the bath; letting him play until all the bubbles are gone. Mommy is more carefree, easy going. Cuddles on the couch to Doc McStuffins. Constant kissing and hugging all around.

But it’s not without a silent understanding that something is missing here. BB did go to the front door and try to unlock it. When I asked him where he was going he handed me his brother’s shirt and ran back to the door, whining and pointing. Almost to say “let’s go get Brother.” We’ve settled down, but it’s not without the glances to the door every time there is a noise outside. And I think it’s about more than that missing face.

It is eerily quiet. The sound of Doc and my squirming cuddly baby who can not get comfortable on the couch, the coffee maker whining in the background, the keys clacking as I type; all audible and present. But the room still feels empty. BB has caused enough trouble in one hour for the two children combined in a day; and it still is calm beyond reason. There are no puzzle pieces strewn about. There is no toilet paper coming from under the bathroom door in a trail. The couch seems longer than ever before with space.

I am trying to remind myself Rainman needs this time away from home. My BB needs some independent time with me before Baby Unnamed gets here next month. I am fighting the urge to get BB dressed immediately and put him in the car and drive the hour in the snow to get his brother. I am fighting it because I know this is bittersweet time that I should cherish. Only one kid in a household of three? A single mom with full custody of three boys and I want them HERE?!?! Am I insane?

No. The truth is this is all I know. People used to tell me how hard it was with multiple children. And in the beginning-it was rough. But it was never in my mind unfathomable. Once I held BB I never again questioned what “punishment” I was inflicting on my then almost toddler by having to share that time and love. It was a learning process but it was one I accepted with little personal conflict. And people now give me their unsolicited opinion on having the third baby where I can confidently say, “What is one more loved child?”

My children don’t know struggle in this household. They don’t know selfish. They have no concept of loneliness. They are familiar with jealousy; but only in the sense of the last gummy; the difference in TV time. They do not know boredom or resentment at their friends who always have a playmate.

They know companionship. They know friendship. They know sharing. They know love.

They know that I will never love any of them more than the other. A different but equal devotion of my time, energy, resources, and patience. They know family.

I know that they love each other more than they could love another person. And while Baby Unnamed will bring some challenges; his bond with the two older boys will not be the same-I know that my Almost Irish Twins will find comfort in each other during the upcoming time of adjustment. They will find solace in the thought of their dependent brother being there to turn to.

And I will find relief in knowing that I could not live my life any other way than having a full home with three loud, messy, screaming, LOVING boys.

So we will wait another hour or two, and we will scramble in the car to go get my independent four year old. And while they will bicker in the car over the different toys from their happy meals, I will glance in the rear view mirror with a knowing smile on my face. This is how it should be.

10 Reasons You Need Coconut Oil In Your Life

I like to think I’m pretty thrifty. I also know that’s a nice way of saying cheap. I’m a bit of a crunchy mom ever since my kids appeared to be allergic to everything-which resulted in me searching for home remedies for nearly everything. After being bombarded on Pinterest with over 100 pins of over 100 ways to use coconut oil, I felt it deserved a little of my attention. I mean, people have claimed it’s the greatest thing since Bradley Cooper shirtless.

Okay, I claimed that. But it is.

First off, let me start by saying I have the worst variety of half stocked grocery stores deemed to mankind. If I want to stay within a 15 minute drive there is a Walmart Supercenter (which clearly should have been named ‘Half-Stocked Not-So-Super Walmart’) a Price Chopper, a Tops, and an Aldi. You want Trader Joes? Not here, friend. Whole Foods? Go screw yourself. You will get overpriced groceries or you will go to the back alley Walmart like everyone else in this town.

So I looked high and low for it at these stores, deeming it after 6 separate searches that I needed to follow a unicorn through the organic section into some hidden room behind the gluten free muffin mixes or something. Turns out, if you go to Walmart you can get it in the vitamin section, go figure. ( Now, you don’t have to buy the Spring Valley kind for $10. A pro tip-if you go to the cooking oils section, there is various brands right there for cheaper. Just make sure you get UNREFINED ORGANIC. Spectrum is a good kind, and under $8 a pound.)

Coconut Oil

If the coconut oil you bought doesn’t smell like a Tahitian Holiday and you don’t have the strong desire to stick a spoon in it and eat it like the last pint of Chunky Monkey ever made, you didn’t get the right stuff. Save this over processed nonsense for cooking, or…waxing your car or something-it’s no good to use otherwise. If you open your jar up and hear angels singing, it’s time to get into why you will keep tubs of this stuff on hand.

10) Your Hair Needs Help-Like, Yesterday.

You know the drill-Winter makes it dull, Summer makes you look like you live in a sauna with all of that humidity frizz. Time to condition with it. I have shoulder length hair and typically 1/2 a tablespoon will do. Use your best eyeballing skills here. You know, the ones you use at the gym to check out that hottie’s 6 pack 4 elliptical machines away. Now if my hair is particularly sad, between split ends, dullness and general straw-like texture, I melt it with my fingers and run my hands through my hair, focusing on my ends. Slap that shit into a messy bun and go to bed. In the morning, wash your hair like the filthy hot mess that it is. You should have conditioned, soft, shiny hair. Be warned-Too much oil in your hair and it’s going to take DAYS to get out. My first mistake was trying a handful and slathering it on my head, roots and all. For frizz, when your hair is dry and you’re ready to go out, massage a tiny bit between your fingers and pat down fly away hairs.

9) Chapstick For The Severely Cracked Lips

Can’t find your Chapstick/Carmex/EOS? Well good news. Unlike most balms that contain salicylic acid (the same stuff in your acne medication to dry out zits) Coconut oil is just a finger swab away! Scoop a little in an old lip balm container, or melt it and pour it into an old tube of your chapstick and let it harden. Just remember if it’s in your pocket it’s going to melt!

8) Substitute It For Buttah

Ever want to make cookies and have no butter? Now is the time to use that oil. Substitute 1:1 ratio. Adds a light sweetness without an overpowering coconut flavor. Plus, switching to coconut oil in place of butter has helped contribute to the 70 pounds I’ve lost recently. Sorry, Paula Deen.

7) Bye Bye Blackheads

I recommended this to the Best Friend and she now swears she’ll never wash her face any other way! Rub coconut oil generously on your face. You don’t want it dripping-this isn’t a fraternity ‘Girl’s Wrestling’ match, but more than a tiny amount helps. Wet a washcloth with warm-lightly hot water and place it right over your oily face. Leave it on for a good 10 seconds. Or, if you’re me, 30 because you forgot to count to 10. Now rinse the washcloth and then begin taking the oil off of your face, without scrubbing terribly hard. Ladies, if you want to see what sits on your face everyday I recommend a white washcloth. I also recommend that you set it on fire after because I’m pretty sure you’ll want to never relive that memory again. Use a new piece of washcloth for each section-Forehead, Cheeks, Nose, Chin. Finish off by rubbing a very light amount of coconut oil back on after to moisturize if you’re like me and prone to dry skin/combination skin. Not only does this clear up acne but it gets my make up off after a long day better than ANY cleanser I’ve ever used. If you use it on your eyes to remove eye make up, it makes your lashes grow, too!

6)Cheap Neosporin/Mederma

Gnarly wound from that killer bear you took on to save a village this morning? Or the massive paper cut from signing permission slips your kids forgot to give you until the last minute-which you CLEARLY told them to STOP PUTTING OFF UNTIL 5 MINUTES BEFORE THE BUS COMES!! Coconut oil is anti-microbial and the cat’s pajamas at helping wounds heal. I put it on old unsightly scars regularly and they’ve faded so much people have asked what I’m using. I haven’t seen a HUGE improvement with stretch marks, but I’ve only been putting it on them for a couple of weeks.

5) Baby Wipes And Diaper Rash Cream

This is my favorite and I’ve saved HUNDREDS of bucks. Also, my kids with their lovely allergies, can only use these to keep the rashes at bay. Look for my specific tutorial on wipes under the DIY section later this week. As far as cream, just slather it on after each change and bye-bye red rump, hello daycare calls about the ‘child who smells like a walking Pina Colada’.

4)Cradle Cap, Lotion, Nose Bleeds, Oh My!

There is nothing I hate more than Cradle Cap. Okay, not true. I hate snakes. And poopy diapers where the scent lingers LONG after you’ve disposed of them. And Rachael Ray. No I don’t want to talk about it; just know I have an undying passion for hating her. Cradle Cap, unlike Ms. Ray, can be treated with a good massage into the scalp and a nice combing Twice a day. Feet, Elbows, general skin dryness? Rub yourself in coconut oil like it’s money and you’re Richy Rich. I put it on twice before bed with thick socks and first thing in the morning for super-soft soles. You can even prevent nosebleeds by rubbing a bit inside each nostril!

3) Make Your Shower Hide All Of Your Dirty Secrets-Like Your ‘Acoustic’ Singing.

Tired of fighting and scrubbing and contemplating using your shower for something other than cleaning? Because, you know, you hate scrubbing your gross build up off of it? No, just me? Okay. ANYWAYS. Douse yourself a cleaning rag with the Oil of Awesomeness and swipe it around. Watch that filth go right down the drain. Now if only your singing could be better…

2)Soothe Sunburn

Use just like lotion, but apply gently. It won’t help you look like less of a lobster, but you won’t feel like a cooked lobster.

1) We Didn’t Start The Fire-Coconut Oil Did!

Safer than lighter fluid (looking at you, Uncle NoBrows), Soak cotton balls in coconut oil and add them to the kindling for a good light. Bonus? Pack some extra and wipe down your skin as insect repellant!

 

 

Obviously, this isn’t every use. I’m not the know all. That’s why we have Pinterest Accounts, duh. But hopefully if you haven’t joined the cult maybe now you understand why everyone’s bragging about the Kool Aid. Tell me in a comment your favorite way to use it!

 

Excuses, Excuses…

I know! I’ve been terrible keeping up with this blog. I really have no excuse for you all other than I am lazy and between working full time and two kids, online work, and the entire House series on Netflix…okay, I haven’t gotten much done lately at all. I vow to change. I will be adding a portion to this little hole-in-the-wall blog of mine for all things not necessarily food related. I mean, everyone loves food porn, but there comes a time where I’m going to want to get away from it a bit.

I’m done rambling. I just wanted to clear my guilty conscience and without further adieu, post something awesome.